Overview

In the Timeline View, users can log Activities, such as Updates, Calls, Meetings, and Emails, along with notes from their customer interactions. The Timeline view is automatically visible to users, but Admins can customize the layout for each of the activity types. 

Additional Resources

Suggested Usage

  • Weekly updates on the Customer’s status and recent events for high-touch customers. 

  • Significant email, call or meeting with the customer that should be recorded in the Customer’s history along with the corresponding notes and perspective.

  • When ownership transitions occur or new owners are introduced, Timeline can provide an easily digestible history with rich context to get the new owner up-to-speed.
  • When Executive Sponsors or Leaders meet with a customer, they can review the Timeline to understand the customer’s history and context.
  • Meeting preparation: create a draft activity and add your meeting agenda. During the meeting, use that same list to guide the meeting and increase your note-taking efficiency. ("Log" the activity if you want colleagues to be able to see it prior to the meeting.)
  • If your organization uses an external note-taking solution, such as Evernote, the Timeline feature is a good alternative, since the info is visible to all GS users in the C360, can be synced automatically with SFDC, and is searchable.
  • If your organization is already a heavy user of SFDC Activities, it’s easy to switch to the Timeline feature and continue syncing activities to SFDC. (Note: the sync only works in one direction at this time; from Gainsight to SFDC.)
  • If your organization does not use Chatter or other collaboration tools, the Timeline is a great way to provide visibility into customer activities across teams.

Notes:

  • For activities, the Activity MDA object is synced with the Task object (SFDC), if sync is enabled and configured
  • Activities are stored in the MDA.
  • Activity data is available for reporting in the Timeline Activities source object in the Report Builder. 
  • The Update activity type is intended for documenting ad hoc notes.
  • Activity data is stored permanently; however, individual activities can be deleted by users, and they will also be deleted from the backend.

Limitations

  • Activities cannot be created automatically through Rules Engine.
  • Notes, External Attendees, and Internal Attendees information are not available for selection in the Activity Timeline object. To view this information, click the subject in the report. The activity opens in a new web page. 
  • The Activity Timeline object can be used as a source object only in Bionic Rules. For example, you can use the data from the Activity Timeline object and create a CTA if the number of meetings with the customer in the last month is zero. 
  • You cannot write data to the Activity Timeline object using Rules Engine as it is a system object in MDA.
  • Attachments in Activities do not currently sync to SFDC.

Enable Global Timeline 

Following image shows the process of enabling Global Timeline. 

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To enable the Global Timeline tab in Gainsight:

  1. Navigate to Administration > Activities and Timeline
  2. In the GENERAL SETTINGS tab > Global, select the Timeline Primary Tab check box to enable the Timeline tab. An information message appears.
  3. Click OK to enable the Timeline tab. 

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Note: If Relationship is not enabled in your org, you cannot view the Configure for section. The UI looks as follows.

  1. After enabling the Timeline tab, you also need to add the Timeline tab as a Salesforce Tab. 
    1. Click All Tabs
    2. Click Customize My Tabs button. 
    3. In the Available Tabs section, select Timeline and click Add
    4. Click Save

5. In Setup > Visualforce Pages > click Security on the Activity Timeline visualforce page. Confirm that the appropriate profiles have access to the Activity Timeline VisualForce page. If they don't have access, they will receive an insufficient privileges message when they click the Timeline tab. 

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6. To add the tab to all end-users using profiles, refer to the SFDC article Turn on a specific tab.  

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IMPORTANT: In this release, Permission Settings are not honored in the Timeline tab. End-users in your org will be able to view all of the activities from all accounts/relationships. If you are using Gainsight and/or SFDC permissions to control access to relationship or account records, the new Timeline tab will not honor those permissions. 

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Create Activity Types

To create new activity types and layouts:

  1. Navigate to Administration > Activities
  2. Select Global, Account, or Relationship next to Configure for.
  3. Click + ACTIVITY TYPE. The Add Activity Type dialog appears. You can create a maximum of 50 custom activity types for each Global, Account or Relationship level. There are four activity types available by default and their names can't be edited.
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  1. In the Add Activity Type dialog, provide a name, icon, and add fields that are required while logging the activity. You can also add a custom field using + FIELD option. 

Notes:

  1. The activities created at the global level will be available for both Account and Relationships. The activities created at the local level (for a particular account or relationship) will be available for that specific account or relationship type context.
  2. When you change the Activity Type from Active to InActive (or vice-versa) at the global level, it will not have impact at account level or relationship level settings. The global level setting (Active/InActive) is only used to decide whether to show the activity type in Global Timeline.
  1. Select Sync to Salesforce Activity box to sync the activity type data to the Salesforce task object. For more information on how the Sync works, see Activity Sync.
  2. Select the Reporting Category. Assigning a reporting category to an activity type gives you the ability to group activity types created in Accounts and Relationship Types into a single entity for use in Reporting.
  3. After adding the required fields, click Save. The activity type is created. 

Edit Activity Types 

  1. Click the Pencil icon of the activity type that you want to configure. 
  2. Under Selected fields, mandatory/standard fields from the Activity MDA object appear by default. However, if you want to add any custom fields, you can add those using ADD FIELD.

Selected Fields:

  • Duration: allows user the to select the meeting or call length in minutes.
  • Internal Attendees: allows user to select any internal attendees for the activity.
  • You can also modify the field labels. For example, in the Email Activity layout, you may want to change the label to Internal Recipients.
  • External Attendees: allows user to select any external (customer) attendees for the activity.
  • We are fetching only the profiles which have SFDC standard or Platform licenses.
  • Note: open text area for user to enter notes about the activity with a limit of 32000 characters.
  • Subject: allows user to enter the subject of the activity.
  • Activity Date: the date on which the activity takes place.
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  1. Optionally, you can select Sync to Salesforce Activity to sync the activity type to the SFDC Task object. In addition, you can also change the activity icon, if required.

Notes:

  • Automatic sync occurs as a minimum of 4 hours and maximum of 24 hours.
  • The Activity count includes Deleted, Updated, and newly created activities.
  1. Click SAVE. The aforementioned procedure can be followed by configuring other activity types.

Add New Custom Fields to Activity Layout

This section explains how to add custom fields to an activity type.

To add a field:

  1. Click the Edit icon for the required activity type.
  2. Click + FIELD.
  3. Provide the following information:
    1. From the Field type drop-down menu, select a data type for the field.
    2. In the Name field, enter a name for the field.
    3. Click SAVE.
    4. (Optional) Click the settings icon and select the Mandatory check box, to make a field mandatory. CSMs must enter a value in a mandatory field.

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Notes:

  • Any custom field, if removed, appears under Available fields. You can drag-and-drop them as shown in the image below when required. You can save a draft of the activity without entering a value in the mandatory fields.
  • Only 15 fields can be added in Selected fields.
  • A check box field cannot be marked as mandatory, as it always carries a value (for example, either True or False).
  • If you have a date-time field, you can mark the field as mandatory to ensure the sync process to Salesforce is smooth.
  • If you select a  Number data type field, you can also select the number of decimal points that the field should display.
  • If you select a Dropdown as the Field type, you must also enter the name of corresponding dropdown category (and also sub category, if applicable). To learn more about dropdown list, refer to the Dropdown List and Multi select Dropdown list article.

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Configure Activity Sync 

In Administration > Activities, you can add a custom activity type at the global or local levels. You can also sync the activity to the Salesforce task object or Salesforce Events. A task will be created in Salesforce for every activity logged in Gainsight so that users who do not have access to Gainsight can view the activity details. While creating a task in Salesforce, information like status, priority, and other information can be configured in Activity Sync tab. Before the sync happens, in the Activity Sync tab, you can also configure the status and priority, and map fields from Gainsight to Salesforce Task or Events. If you choose to sync activities, they will also appear on the SFDC Account page. 

Events: are "meetings" or Appointments" which have a start time, an end time, a location, and invitees. E.g. a Sales meeting on 10th Jan, 2018, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, with Fred & Wilma.

Tasks: are things to do that you have assigned to yourself or that someone else has assigned to you; tasks have a Due Date but typically no particular time associated with it. E.g. Pick up check, drop off copy, prepare meeting notes, set up conference room, make copies for presentation etc.

Events Sync.png

Notes:

  • Activity fields are stored in exposed MDA tables. To delete these fields, contact support@gainsight.com. It is possible to delete these fields without support's assistance if no data is under that field.
  • Attachments in an activity cannot be synced to Salesforce. Only the activity content synced to Salesforce Tasks or Events. 

To configure activity sync using Scheduled OR Real-time Sync option:

  1. Navigate to Administration > Workflow > Activities > ACTIVITY SYNC > [Select Scheduled in General Settings] or [Select Real-time Sync in General Settings].

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Notes

  • The Scheduled sync is the default option. The frequency of the tasks getting synced is same as a minimum of 4 hours and maximum of 24 hours.
  • The Real-time Sync option should be selected. Selecting this option will trigger the sync job immediately for all activities to either Salesforce Tasks or Events, per your configuration. 
  1. In the General Settings section, select Salesforce Tasks or Salesforce Events. Switching from tasks to events will start syncing the activities to events right away. While syncing to Salesforce Events, it’s mandatory to map the Date Time field to the End Date Time field under Salesforce Fields. 

    Note: If an activity that was previously synced to Salesforce Events is updated, then that activity will now be synced to Salesforce Tasks. But the frequency of the tasks getting synced will remain same as a minimum of 4 hours and maximum of 24 hours. While syncing to Salesforce Events, it’s mandatory to map the Date Time field to the End Date-Time field  under Salesforce Fields. The Date Time field used in Gainsight must be a custom field and must be set as Mandatory field before mapping it to the Salesforce End Date-Time field.  
  2. (for Salesforce Tasks) Under General Settings, select the appropriate value for Salesforce Status and Salesforce Priority, which are Salesforce standard fields. 
    Note: This is a mandatory selection. Sync and field mapping will not work unless these fields are assigned appropriate values.
  1. Under Field Mapping, fields from the Activity and Task object are mapped by default. In addition, if you want to add any custom field, use the + ADD FIELD button.

Manual sync of Timeline Activities

A new option for Administrators to initiate an immediate manual sync from Administration > Activity Sync page is provided. Clicking this option will trigger a sync job immediately for all activities to either Salesforce Tasks or Events, per your configuration. Once you click the Start Manual Sync option, the sync progress message appears.

Enable/Disable Timeline in Account or Relationships

You can access the Activity Timeline from Account and Opportunity widgets. You can log activities and notes, create follow-up tasks, and access drafts in the Account and Opportunity widgets. You can enable/disable Activity Timeline in Account and Opportunity Widgets at Administration > Activities > Account/Relationship. You can enable/disable Activity Timeline in Accounts or Relationship Types. You can enable/disable Timeline in areas like C360/R360, Cockpit, Account Widget, and Opportunity Widget. While enabling/disabling Timeline for all accounts at once, you can enable/disable Timeline only for a particular relationship type. By default, Activity Timeline is enabled in all modules of Gainsight.

Access Activities logged in Timeline from the Report Builder

Admins can access activities logged in Timeline from the Report Builder and can create reports. In the Report Builder:

  1. Use Activity Timeline as the source object.
  2. Add relevant fields to the report in the Show Me section. You can view the Subject line of all the activities using the Subject field.
  3. You can add up to 5 fields that you would like to use to slice and dice or segment the data by in By section. 
  4. Click Run. A report is generated by Activity Timeline. For more information, refer to How to Build Basic Reports.
  5. After you generate the report, you can click any subject to view the associated activity.
  6. Notes, External Attendees, and Internal Attendees information are not available for selection in the Activity Timeline object. To view this information, click the subject in the report. The activity opens in a new web page. 

View Relationship Activities on C360 page

You can configure the C360 page to display the Activities from its Relationships. To accomplish this task, you must enable the Show Relationship Activities in Customer Timeline toggle switch. This toggle switch is present under the Additional Settings section. By default, this toggle switch is disabled. When you enable this switch, end users can view the Relationship Activities of a Company on its C360 page.

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Record Deletion in Timeline

When you delete a Company record, all its corresponding Timeline records are deleted. If the Company has Relationships, the Timeline records for the relationships is also deleted.

When you delete a Relationship record, its associated Timeline records are automatically deleted. However, the Activities of the Account to which the Relationship belonged to, continue to exist.

In the below image, the Company Alseivier Ltd. has an Activity “Discussion with Alseivier”, a draft with the same name, and an attachment called “Alseivier Attachment”.

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When you delete the Company record for Alseivier Ltd, all its activities are deleted automatically.

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IMPORTANT: The Gainsight Connect’s sync jobs must be completed for the required changes to be visible.

Create Reports, Rules, and Surveys on Attendees 

You can use the Timeline Internal Attendees and External Attendees fields in various analytical and action based modules of Gainsight. To accomplish this task, Gainsight provides the following components:

  • Internal Attendees and External Attendees fields: You can use the Internal Attendees and External Attendees fields. These fields return the list of internal and external attendees (respectively), who attended a particular meeting. If multiple atttendees were present in an activity, the results are displayed as Attendee 1, Attendee 2, Attendee 3, and so on. You can use these fields to solve those use cases which require only names to be displayed and not other attributes of the attendee.

  • Activity Attendee Object: Gainsight provides you with a junction object called Activity Attendee. This object has Activity ID and internal and external Attendee ID fields. You can use this object while creating rules or reports which are based on an attribute of a attendee.

Business Use cases:

  • Reporting: In reporting, you can use this enhancement to address the following use cases:

    • Create a report on the list of activities, organized with a particular person(s) (internal or external) in the past one month, quarter, or year. To accomplish this, use Activity Timeline as the source object and add the required fields in the Show me section. Use the Internal Attendees/External Attendees field in the filter area and enter the name of the required person.

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  • Create a report in which a particular internal or external attendee was involved. To accomplish this, use the same filters as in the previous use case, without including the Activity Date filter. 
  • Create a report which enlists internal or external attendees who have not attended any meeting in a given period of time. To accomplish this, use the Activity Date field in the filter section and select the required data range. 

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The above report displays list of internal and external attendees who were not part of any Activity in the current or past quarter. 

  • Review the internal attendees who attended meetings with a customer, who recently churned out. To accomplish this, use the Company -> Status field equal to Churn

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The above report displays list of internal and external attendees who were involved in a meeting with Company that churned out.

Note: When you type the name of a Person (attendee) in the filter field, ensure that you enter the exact name of the person. You cannot find name suggestions based on the characters entered. 

  • Surveys: You can send out a survey to a list of external attendees with whom you recently had an EBR meeting  

  • Rules Engine: You can create a rule to check when exactly was the last time you met an executive (with a specific role) from a particular company. To learn more about how to use this use case, refer to the Track Last Activity on People with Specific Roles article.